I've seen quite a few impressive VR experiences recently, but Dispatch by Here Be Dragons could be the best of the bunch. Dispatch is a brand new experience that's currently exclusive to the Oculus Rift. It's 4 chapters of episodic storytelling, but only the first chapter comes free. Admission to the final three chapters will set you back an additional $2.99. At first blush, you might be thinking... "They want $3 for some non-interactive VR storytelling? the heck with that.." Well, here's the thing, once you try out the first chapter, you might find it very difficult to resist the last three.
In this experience, you get an inside look at a disgruntled 911 dispatcher that hates his job. It's obvious that he doesn't enjoy being a dispatcher, but he still has an important job to perform. He needs to buckle down and be a professional. The person on the other end of the line could be in a life or death situation. Here Be Dragons uses some clever techniques to really bring this tension to life. The scenes are played out in a wire frame fashion that is somewhat similar to the PlayStation VR game Stifled. Except here, the effect is more detailed and powerful.
Your vision is extremely limited, so most everything is dark, but each sound the dispatcher hears builds a picture inside their mind of what is actually transpiring. Here Be Dragons does their best to bring this mental process to life. As the dispatcher deals with the call, you can see the mental picture being formed through wire frame polygonal designs. This is where the real magic happens, because what you see inside the headset looks absolutely amazing. The developers use total darkness to great effect, illuminating only what they must illuminate, and it's done in spectacular fashion. It creates this effect, where it seems as though you're looking at real life holograms that are crystal clear and detailed. The truth is, Here Be Dragons is only using very small amounts of your visible real estate inside the headset, but this probably allows them to display things in much higher detail. The black backgrounds allow them more clarity and contrast, and the whole production can be mesmerizing at times.
Unfortunately, the very first chapter is over before you know it, and then you'll be prompted to buy the remaining chapters right there on the spot. Hopefully many of you take the plunge and fork over the additional 3 bucks. Reason being, if we want more of this powerful content, we need to start finding ways to reward these creators for their efforts. This production is absolutely exemplary, and exactly the kind of content a burgeoning industry needs in it's early days to get over the hump.